The death of Cornelius Price, the leader of a dangerous Irish crime gang, has sent shockwaves through the criminal underworld. Price, who had been suffering from limbic encephalitis, passed away in a Welsh hospital at the age of 41, leaving behind a legacy of violence, intimidation, and fear.
Price was believed to have been behind the ruthless murders of Willie Maughan and his pregnant partner Ana Varslavane in 2015, whose bodies have never been found. The couple were last seen on Price’s heavily fortified compound in Gormanstown, County Meath, before it is believed their remains were cremated. Gardai suspect that Price ordered the murders and disposed of their remains to protect his drug empire.
Price was the leader of a dangerous crime gang that operated out of Gormanstown, County Meath, in Ireland and had close ties to one of the sides in the recent Drogheda feud. The Drogheda feud is a bitter gangland conflict sparked by a split in a drugs gang, which has led to a wave of violence and bloodshed in the region. Price was believed to have been a key figure in one of the two gangs involved in the feud, and had fled to the UK following a wave of violence in Drogheda.
Despite Price’s death, investigations into his alleged criminal activities will continue, particularly in relation to the Drogheda feud. Another Irishman, Darren McClean, was recently convicted in London of conspiracy to falsely imprison and blackmail, and is believed to have been a close associate of Price. McClean was the only one out of five alleged associates of Price who was found guilty following a lengthy trial.
Price had a long history of run-ins with the law. In February 2017, he was found guilty of endangering a garda at Balbriggan Garda Station and was sentenced to three years’ imprisonment. In May 2019, Price was released from prison after serving a three-year sentence for reckless endangerment of a garda in which he drove a car at the officer, and later took a ferry to the UK. He was believed to have then spent time in Bulgaria in eastern Europe before returning to Ireland and eventually fleeing to the UK again at the height of the Drogheda feud.
Price’s death marks the end of a violent and brutal era in Irish crime. His alleged involvement in the murders of Maughan and Varslavane, as well as his role in the Drogheda feud, will continue to be investigated by authorities. The legacy of Price’s criminal empire and the violence it caused will be felt for years to come.